The Federal Reserve says the economy expanded across most of the United States in December and early January.
The Fed says in its latest snapshot of the economy that most of its 12 regional bank reported steady growth. The Atlanta and San Francisco banks described growth as “moderate.” The Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Dallas banks called the economy’s expansion “modest.”
The Boston Fed said businesses were “upbeat.” Only the New York and Kansas City Fed banks reported that economic activity was “essentially flat.”
Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, was “slight to moderate” in most districts.
Most manufacturing industries — except for automakers and aerospace manufacturers — “displayed a weakening in activity.” Factories have been hurt by a stronger dollar, which makes American-made products more expensive in foreign markets. The dollar rose 10 percent last year against a basket of major currencies.
The report, known as the Beige Book, will be used for discussion when the central bank next meets Jan. 26-27. Last month the Fed raised the short-term interest rate it controls for the first time since 2006.